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Reflections of a working writer and reader



Posts added in May 2009


Autumn A touch of cold in the Autumn night – I walked abroad, And saw the ruddy moon lean over a hedge Like a red-faced farmer. I did not stop to speak, but nodded; And round about were the wistful stars With white faces like town children. TE Hulme (1912)

Winged with Death – a reader’s impression

Before I’d started the book, I’d been expecting the theme to be of motion, but of course time’s impossible to disentangle from the dance of movement. It all tied in so wonderfully well with the central metaphor of the tango, a dance like so many others I’d only known performed by folk with painted shark grins and eyes dazzling like splintered marbles on COME DANCING. The sense of leading a dance and being led in one was a wonderful metaphor for the whole of the book. It’s a fleet narrative, the steps falling into place seemingly effortlessly; and the descriptions of the dance moves, all so wonderful — at times I’d to read them twice, forcing myself away from the narrative, just so I could enjoy the felicity and economy in the writing.

Netherland by Joseph O’Neill

What do you do when your wife takes your child and leaves you alone in a city of ghosts?
Hans van den Broek chooses cricket . . .

Presque vu LXXIX

In the face of a growing number of deaths and cases of HIV linked to drug abuse, the Portuguese government in 2001 tried a new tack to get a handle on the problem—it decriminalized the use and possession of heroin, cocaine, marijuana, LSD and other illicit street drugs. The theory: focusing on treatment and prevention instead of jailing users would decrease the number of deaths and infections.

They Simply Could Not

“I would like to live in a perpetual September,” he writes in September 1935. “One does one’s best to prefer Spring, in vain.” One recalls the story about his comment, made many years later, to a friend who was with him watching cricket on a sunny day and who had just said, perhaps forgetting to whom he was talking, that it was the kind of day that made you glad to be alive; “I wouldn’t go as far as that” was the (apocryphal) reply.